Now that we've discussed the possible uses for compression, let's take a look at the way a compressor works. To do that, I'll explain to you, in a theoretical way, the different parameters commonly found on such processors.
Regarding attack and release, I've always thought of the stepmasters at gyms. When you step on the stepmaster, it takes some force before it really starts, well, compressing and when you step off, the steps decompress more slowly than the time it takes to remove your feet from the stepmaster.
Keeping this ridiculous example in mind:
Attack = the time it takes for the stepmaster to completely compress (or the time it takes for your compressor to reach the level that you've determined)
Release = the time it takes for the stepmaster to reach its 'neutral' level after removing your feet (or the time it takes for the compressor to once again reach 0 immediately after compression)
To answer the 2 questions in your head: YES, I am crazy, but YES this example still makes sense in some crazy way